• Dan Cortese is an American actor, host and TV personality, best known for his role of Laird Perry Rollins in “Veronica’s Closet” and Vic Maladeo in “What I Like About You”
• He attended Quaker Valley High School and earned an athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
• He was the host of MTV Sports, with Gabrielle Reece alongside him, and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology in 1993
• He was a part of the fast-food chain Burger King's “Your Way, Right Away” campaign, featuring in over 90 national and international commercials
• He has a net worth of approximately $1.5 million, as of mid-2019, and is active on Instagram and Twitter

Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthSeptember 14, 1967
SpouseDee Dee Hemby
FactCurrently lives in Malibu, Ca [May 2006]

Who is Dan Cortese?

Born on 14 September. 1967, in Sewickley,  Pennsylvania, under the unpredictable and volatile sign of Virgo, Daniel James Cortese is an 51-year-old American actor, host and TV personality. He is best known for his role of Laird Perry Rollins in “Veronica’s Closet”, a hit NBC sitcom. In 2003, he achieved even higher levels of fame by playing the role of Vic Meladeo in “What I Like About You”. With his charisma and situational awareness, Dan managed to carve out a respectable career in the sitcom niche. He is also a recipient of the Emmy Award for his performance as a host on “MTV Sports”, a hit show in the 1990s. Even though he is prominent in sitcoms, Dan hasn’t played too many significant roles in movies.

Early Life and Education: Growing Up in Pennsylvania, UNC

Dan was born into an American family in rural Pennsylvania. Both his mother and father are of Italian descent – his grandparents are from Calabria, a region in Southern Italy, which is evident when you notice Dan’s surname. A stellar student and successful athlete, Dan attended Quaker Valley High School in the town of Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, excelling at football and basketball. In fact, he was such a good football player that he earned an athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the backup quarterback on the team for four seasons, however, unlike many student-athletes, Dan pursued his education vigorously, and graduated with excellent grades with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting. The charismatic young man of Italian descent was ready to enter the acting world shortly afterwards.

Career Beginnings: MTV Sports

After graduating, Dan mostly appeared in plays and less significant shows. However, when he was just 25 years-old, he became the host of the hit MTV show – “MTV Sports”, later with Gabrielle Reece alongside him, and traveled the country covering bizarre sports and strange sports-related rituals. Dan’s charisma and background as an athlete were the perfect ingredients to make the show both fun and educational. All of this was made possible with funding from MTV, and the investment paid off when the show won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology in 1993, in Dan’s second year as the host. Due to his prominence as a host on MTV, he got to be the team coach, but also a player during several MTV Rock  N’ Jock basketball games. This series on MTV featured musicians and sometimes actors playing basketball, football or baseball in mixed teams, with professional athletes. With this project, Dan became a household name on TV. He left MTV in 1997.

Dan Cortese

Establishing Himself as a Star: Burger King

Another notable achievement in his early career was Dan’s position of official spokesperson for the fast-food chain, Burger King. He was a part of their “Your Way, Right Away” campaign, and ended up being featured in more than 90 national and international commercials; this showed that he was poised for silver screen appearances.

A Streak of Success: Demolition Man, Traps and More

Cortese didn’t wait long before appearing in a more significant movie. In 1993, he had two cameos (prison guard and Taco Bell lounge singer) in “Demolition Man”, a box office hit starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. With a budget of $50 million, the movie earned a total of $160 million. The same year, he landed the lead role in an NBC remake of “Route 66”, then in 1994, you could see Cortese in the CBS record-breaking drama “Traps”, centered around a retired police chief returning to solve several mysteries. In December 1994, Dan appeared in “Seinfeld”, next to Academy Award winner George C. Scott, and a year later in “Melrose Place”, in the role of Jess Hanson, Jake’s half-brother, but was eventually killed off after eight episodes. In 1996, he had his biggest movie role to date, playing Jason in “The Lottery”, the highest NBC release that year, thanks to Dan’s stellar acting in the lead role.

1997-2005: Veronica’s Closet, What I Like About You

1997 saw Dan as a co-star next to Kirstie Alley in “Veronica’s Closet”, one of the top-rated shows on NBC, and was a regular in the show for its entire duration of 67 episodes, until 2000. Then he appeared in “After Sex”, a popular feature film, alongside Brooke Shields, and even though he hadn’t tasted comedy since the end of “MTV Sports”, Dan decided to make a return in “Rock Me Baby”, a 2003 sitcom with high expectations surrounding it. One of his most notable achievements is playing Vic Maladeo, Val’s boss, from 2003 to 2006 in “What I Like About You”. At this time, he also became a director, as the episode “The Other Woman” was entirely his work. In 2005, he was seen in two popular shows, “Joey” and “CSI: Miami”, further boosting his popularity as a supporting or cameo actor in various TV shows.

2006-present: Various Engagements

After 2004, Cortese became less active in terms of acting, probably because he accumulated sufficient funds through multiple gigs on a yearly basis. We saw him in “Surviving Suburbia” as Onno, and in “Castle” as Howard Weisberg from 2009 to 2010. Later on, he played guest roles in both “Man Up!” and “Hot in Cleveland”, two prominent sitcoms in this decade. In 2013, Dan made a spectacular return to hosting, as he was the man doing most of the talking in “Guinness World Records Gone Wild”, showcasing the extreme lengths people are willing to go to in order to be etched in the publication. From 2016 to 2019, he assumed the part of himself in “The Tomorrow Show” and “Beach Bake Battle”.

Personal Life: Did Dan Cortese Have a Wife? Does He Have Children?

Yes, Dan Cortese married Dee Dee Hemby in 1994, and shortly afterwards, the couple had two children, a boy named Roman and a daughter named India Isabella. Due to Dan’s acting engagements and work-related obligations, they were spending too much time apart and decided part ways for good in 2012. On 25 February 2019, he had his third child, a boy named Enzo with his second wife, Carolina London.

What is Dan Cortese’s Net Worth?

According to credible sources, Dan Cortese has a net worth of approximately $1.5 million, as of mid-2019, accumulated from an incessant workflow, sometimes appearing in several movies and TV shows in the span of just a few months. Long-term roles, such as in “What I Like About You” and “Veronica’s Closet”, gave him stability in his formative years as an actor. Even if he doesn’t appear in further sitcoms, Dan still has enough money to last him several decades.

Social Media Presence

Even though he is in his sixth decade of life, Dan is quite comfortable with using social media, especially Instagram, on which he has 20,000 followers, using it for announcing important moments, like the birth of his son Enzo. The only other social network he uses is Twitter, on which he has 15,000 followers and a verified account.

General Info

Full NameDan Cortese
Date Of BirthSeptember 14, 1967
Height1.82 m
ProfessionVJ, Spokesperson, Professional Wrestler, Television Director
EducationUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


SpouseDee Dee Hemby
ChildrenIndia Isabella Cortese, Roman Cortese
ParentsMary Lou Cortese, Vince Cortese


MoviesSoccer Mom, Everybody Wants to Be Italian, Locusts: The 8th Plague, House Blend, The Triangle, After Sex, Volcano: Fire on the Mountain, The Lottery, Demolition Man, Family Dinner, At First Site
TV ShowsMTV Sports, Veronica's Closet, Rock Me Baby, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, Crash Course, Money Hungry, Guinness World Records Gone Wild, The Single Guy, Traps, Route 66 (1993)

Social profile links


1Mentioned on Saturday night live by Bill Hader, 5 times in one sketch.
2Currently lives in Malibu, Ca [May 2006]
3Enjoys grande caramel quad macchiatos from Starbucks.
4Is of Sicilian descent.
5Children: India Isabella and Roman
6Attended the University of North Carolina.
7His surname is pronounced Cor-tez.




Changing SeasonscompletedJeff
Guinness World Records Gone Wild2013TV SeriesHost / Himself
Hot in Cleveland2012TV SeriesJimmy Armstrong
Man Up2011TV SeriesDennis Mayder
Brain Trust2011TV MovieJake Axelrod
Castle2010TV SeriesHoward Weisberg
Surviving Suburbia2009TV SeriesOnno
Family Dinner2009Video shortJohn Graham
Soccer Mom2008/ILorenzo Vincenzo
Everybody Wants to Be Italian2007Michael
What I Like About You2003-2006TV SeriesVic Meladeo / Vic
Locusts: The 8th Plague2005TV MovieColt Denton
Joey2005TV SeriesChuck
Grown Men2005TV Movie
CSI: Miami2004TV SeriesSal Coleman
8 Simple Rules2004TV SeriesCoach Scott
Rock Me, Baby2003-2004TV SeriesJimmy Cox
In-Laws2003TV SeriesBobby Robutelli
Andy Richter Controls the Universe2002TV SeriesBen / Peter
House Blend2002TV MovieDave Reed
Ball & Chain2001TV MovieEdgar Bulson
Inside Schwartz2001TV SeriesChuck
The Triangle2001TV MovieTommy Devane
Veronica's Closet1997-2000TV SeriesPerry Rollins / Laird Perry Rollins
That's Life2000TV SeriesProfessor Jeff Cahill
Baby Blues2000TV SeriesRay
After Sex2000John
The Single Guy1997TV SeriesDan Montgomery
Volcano: Fire on the Mountain1997TV MoviePeter Slater
The Lottery1996TV MovieJason Smith
Two Guys Talkin' About Girls1996VideoJoey Fortone
A Weekend in the Country1996TV MovieThunder
Public Enemies1996VideoMelvin Purvis
Caroline in the City1996TV SeriesScott
Melrose Place1995TV SeriesJess Hanson
Traps1994TV SeriesChris
Seinfeld1994TV SeriesTony
Demolition Man1993Taco Bell Entertainer
Route 661993TV SeriesArthur Clark
Something Is Out There1988TV SeriesJack Breslin
General College1987TV SeriesKyle Donovan


What I Like About You2005TV Series performer - 1 episode
Rock Me, Baby2004TV Series performer - 1 episode


What I Like About You2006TV Series 1 episode


1995 VH1 Honors1995TV MovieHimself
Sixth Annual Rock N' Jock Softball Challenge1995TV SpecialHomeboys Coach
Fourth Annual Rock N' Jock B-Ball Jam1994TV SpecialBricklayers Coach
The Arsenio Hall Show1994TV SeriesHimself
MTV Sports1993TV SeriesHimself - Host
MTV Video Music Awards 19931993TV SpecialHimself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno1993TV SeriesHimself
Fox/MTV Guide to Summer '921992TV MovieHimself - Host
Big Morning Buzz Live2013TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Guinness World Records Unleashed2013TV SeriesHimself - Host
Katie2013TV SeriesHimself
Celebrity Ghost Stories2013TV Series documentaryHimself
Guinness World Records Gone Wild2013TV SeriesHimself - Host
The Jeff Probst Show2013TV SeriesHimself
Hooters 2011 International Swimsuit Pageant2011TV MovieHimself - Emcee
The Hooters 2011 Swimsuit Pageant2011TV MovieHimself - Emcee
Money Hungry2010TV SeriesHimself - Host
The Hooters 2010 International Swimsuit Pageant2010TV MovieHimself - Host
Crash Course2009TV SeriesHimself - Host
That Morning Show2009TV SeriesHimself
Entertainment Tonight2009TV SeriesHimself
The Superstars2009TV SeriesHimself - Contestant
My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad2008TV SeriesHimself - Host
The Wayne Brady Show2004TV SeriesHimself
On-Air with Ryan Seacrest2004TV SeriesHimself
The Sharon Osbourne Show2003-2004TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest Host
Pyramid2002TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity
MTV 20: Live & Almost Legal2001TV Movie documentaryHimself
We Married Margo2000Himself
MTV Uncensored1999TV Movie documentaryHimself
The 24th Annual People's Choice Awards1998TV SpecialHimself - Accepting Award for Favourite New Television Comedy Series
The Rosie O'Donnell Show1997-1998TV SeriesHimself
Jeopardy!1998TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity Contestant
The Daily Show1998TV SeriesHimself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien1993-1998TV SeriesHimself
Fifth Annual Rock N' Jock B-Ball Jam1995TV SpecialBricklayers Coach
Off Camera with Dean Cain1995TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

Celebrities Uncensored2004TV SeriesHimself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected].

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